Archive for September, 2008

US Trade Deal Prospect Raises Cheers

The US decision to start free trade negotiations with NZ, Singapore, Chile and Brunei gave the Govt a big boost this week and the business sector cheered the news. Labour hopes it means more votes as well as a potential $1bn for the economy. Helen Clark says a deal with the four countries, known as […]

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Labour Catches Key With Shares Shocker

National Party leader John Key didn’t have to wait long for the campaign to take a nasty turn. Labour dredged up records proving his family trust once held 100,000 Tranz Rail shares, not the 30,000 he acknowledged earlier this year when he was accused of conflict of interest because he had been asking Parliamentary questions […]

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Wounded Peters Could Be Dangerous

Winston Peters has been censured by Parliament and National says it won’t have anything to do with him after the election, but it’s difficult to find an MP from any party prepared to say the NZ First leader won’t be back. Peters is at his best, and most determined, when the odds are stacked against […]

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Report On Warship Hammers Defence Chiefs

Is HMNZS Canterbury another naval lemon, like the late HMNZS Charles Upham – or can it be suitably modified to fill its proper role? In announcing a $20m “get well” programme, Defence Minister Phil Goff thinks the answer is yes. Few doubt the report prepared by British naval authority John Cole and his team represents […]

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Energy Firms Applaud Use Of “Call-In”

For all the criticism of the Resource Management Act, few are griping about the powers of the Govt to call in major contracts in the national interest. Contact Energy this week gained resource consent for its 220MW Te Mihi geothermal power station near Taupo after the approvals process was fast-tracked. A second project, the 540MW […]

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Economic Debate – Judge Character Or History?

Financial shockwaves girdled the globe, after Lehman Brothers (the US’s biggest bankruptcy) and Merrill Lynch (whose collapse was averted by its sale to Bank of America) became victims of the 14-month-old credit crisis and AIG scrambled for loans to stay afloat. NZ was not spared: the NZX 50 suffered its biggest one-day drop in six […]

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Nats Blast Defence Deficiencies

National MP Murray McCully has again lambasted several new Defence projects in the wake of last week’s NZ Defence Force annual report which he says reveals “gaping holes” in defence capability. The MRV Canterbury faces huge questions about equipment and capability. It is unable to perform operations. The Navy’s six new patrol boats, (four in-shore […]

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Dairy Payments Outlook Bleak

The outlook for payments to Fonterra’s farmers is to be something of a balancing act, with global production expected to increase in an environment of waning economic growth. Against this, the NZ dollar’s decline will soften the impact. NZ’s commodity export price index had the biggest decline in seven years in August and milk powder […]

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Economic Debate – Policy Or Bust

Instead of delighting in releasing National policies, Labour would facilitate a much-needed election-year economic debate by posting its own policies. Kiwiblog’s David Farrar alerted readers a month ago to the National Party web-site’s inclusion of a section where policies are listed, whereas Labour’s website didn’t list one 2008 policy plank. It still doesn’t. Visitors to […]

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Economic Debate – Does Tax Force Migration?

National leader John Key expressed concerns about migration outflows, linking Kiwi flight with the IRD bite, when launching his party’s first election campaign billboard (“wave goodbye to higher taxes not your loved ones”). He contends over-taxation has had a huge influence in driving Kiwis abroad. Actually, it’s somewhat more complicated: outflow data show a fairly […]

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All Sectors Target The Govt’s ETS Bill

The Govt’s Emissions Trading Scheme, arguably the biggest economic reform since those of the 1980s, was under heavy crossfire this week, from business, from the Federation of Maori Authorities, from Opposition parties in Parliament, and even one of its support parties United Future. UF leader Peter Dunne called for the Bill to be deferred for […]

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Key’s Decision On Peters A Bit Of Cold Steel

John Key made probably the biggest call of his term as Leader of the Opposition, when he ruled Winston Peters out of any Govt he might lead. National says the response was extraordinary. It reflects deep disenchantment with a political process where minority parties are holding the country to ransom. Many voters now believe NZ’s […]

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